ASSEMBLY, No. 2172
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 2, 2012
Assemblyman HERB CONAWAY, JR.
District 7 (Burlington)
Assemblyman TROY SINGLETON
District 7 (Burlington)
Assemblyman THOMAS P. GIBLIN
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman Benson, Assemblywoman Handlin, Assemblyman Caputo and Senator Vitale
Requires certain health care facilities to offer, and health care workers to receive, annual influenza vaccination.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on May 6, 2013, with amendments.
An Act concerning influenza vaccination of certain health care workers and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. As used in this act:
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Health 1[and Senior Services]1.
“Health care facility” means a general or special hospital, nursing home, or home health care agency licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.).
“Health care worker” means a person employed by a health care facility who provides direct patient care or otherwise has contact with patients.
b. Commencing with the 1[2012-2013] 2013-20141 influenza season, each health care facility shall establish and implement an annual influenza vaccination program in accordance with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this act.
c. For the purposes of its annual influenza vaccination program, each health care facility shall:
(1) annually offer to provide an on-site or off-site influenza vaccination to each of its health care workers; 1[except that a health care worker may, in lieu of accepting the influenza vaccination offer, present acceptable proof of a current influenza vaccination from another vaccination source, or sign a written declination statement;]1
(2) require that each health care worker at the facility receive an influenza vaccination provided by the health care facility, 1except that a health care worker may, in lieu of receiving the influenza vaccination at the facility,1 present acceptable proof 1, including an attestation from the health care worker,1 of a current influenza vaccination if the health care worker receives the vaccination from another vaccination source, or sign a written declination statement;
(3) maintain a record 1or attestation,
influenza vaccinations for each health care worker, retain each signed
declination statement from a health care worker who elects not to receive an
influenza vaccination, and report to the Department of Health 1[and Senior Services]1, in a manner
and according to a schedule prescribed by the commissioner, the 1[compliance]
vaccination percentage1 rate of its health care workforce in receiving influenza vaccinations as part of the facility’s annual vaccination program 1or by other means as attested to by the health care workforce, as applicable1. The report may also include other information that the facility deems relevant to its 1[compliance] vaccination percentage1 rate, including, but not limited to, the number of health care workers who signed declination statements that the facility has received;
(4) provide an educational component to its program that is designed to inform health care workers about: influenza vaccination; non-vaccine influenza control measures; and the symptoms, transmission, and potential impact of influenza; and
(5) annually conduct an evaluation of the program with the goal of improving the rate of vaccination among its health care workers.
d. A health care facility may suspend its annual offer of influenza vaccination pursuant to this act in the event of a shortage of influenza vaccine as determined by the commissioner.
e. (1) Any determination by the commissioner of noncompliance by a health care facility or any of its health care workers with the provisions of this act, based upon an inspection or survey conducted by the Department of Health 1[and Senior Services]1 pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-5), or as otherwise determined by the commissioner, shall not constitute a licensure violation or deficiency with respect to that facility for the purposes of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.), or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(2) The commissioner shall seek to minimize any record-keeping burden imposed on a health care facility pursuant to this act and shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure the confidentiality of any data furnished to the department pursuant to this act that may contain information identifying an individual health care worker.
1(3) The commissioner shall make available to the public aggregate data reported by a facility pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section.
f. A health care facility shall not discharge or reduce the pay of a health care worker who declines to receive an influenza vaccination.
g. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a health care facility from taking measures to protect its patients in the event that a health care worker declines to receive an influenza vaccination, which measures may include, but are not limited to, relocation or change of assignment of a health care worker.1
2. No later than August 1st of each year, the commissioner shall report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), on the 2[compliance] vaccination percentage2 rates of health care 2[worker vaccinations] workers2 for the prior influenza season.
3. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B- 1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
4. This act shall take effect immediately.